2023 Solar Panel Installation Cost in California

2023 Solar Panel Installation Cost in California

The cost of installing solar panels in California remains a major subject in 2023. With environmental concerns and growing electricity costs, many California residents are considering investing in solar energy to save money and lessen their carbon footprint.

While the cost of solar panel installation in California can vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the installation, the type of panels used, and the complexity of the installation process, an estimate of the average cost of solar panel installation in California is still possible.

In this post, we'll take a look at the current status of solar panel installation costs in California and explore some of the factors that might affect them. Whether you are thinking about investing in solar energy for your home or company, or if you simply want to learn more about the possible cost savings connected with solar panel installation, here is the place to be. Let's dive in and explore the exciting world of solar energy in California!

How much do solar panels cost in California in 2023?

Are you considering going solar in California? As of March 2023, the average cost of solar panels in California is $2.97 per watt (W). The cost of installing a 5 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system in California can range from $12,622 to $17,078, with the average gross price being $14,850.

But don't worry, there are several incentives and tax credits that can help in making solar energy more affordable. You may drastically lower the cost of solar panel installation in California by taking advantage of the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) and various state and municipal solar incentives.

In fact, after accounting for these incentives, the net price you'll pay for solar can fall by thousands of dollars. So, if you're looking for a cost-effective and sustainable way to power your home or business, going solar in California might be the perfect solution for you.

Not only can you save money on your electricity bill, but you can also help reduce your carbon footprint and contribute towards a greener future. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring your solar panel options today and make the switch to renewable energy in California!

Average solar panel cost by system size in California

System SizeSystem CostSystem Cost (after ITC)
3 kW$8,910$6,593
4 kW$11,880$8,791
5 kW$14,850$10,989
6 kW$17,820$13,187
7 kW$20,790$15,385
8 kW$23,760$17,582
9 kW$26,730$19,780
10 kW$29,700$21,978

2023 average solar panel cost graph in California for a 5kW system

market average for 5Kw Solar Systems
Note: Solar installation costs do not include the 30% federal investment tax credit or local incentives.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association(SEIA), California has the highest rate of solar adoption in the country.

Solar technology has grown more readily available as a result of the country's thriving solar industry, and prices have dropped year over year for the past decade or so. In California, equipment costs have decreased by around 53% during the previous ten years.

The solar industry has continued to progress in terms of both equipment and manufacturing processes. As a result, we anticipate that PV panels' efficiency ratings and prices will continue to rise over time.

Because equipment prices have historically dropped, some potential solar customers believe it is best to wait for costs to continue to fall before switching. While this appears to make sense in theory, it will almost certainly cost you money in the long run.

The biggest issue with waiting is that power rates in California are rising. The increasing difficulty of obtaining fossil fuels and the amount of consumers changing to solar — particularly in a state like California — will almost certainly result in energy prices rising further.

As a result, the long-term energy cost of relying on fossil fuels is increasing. California consumers may already expect to pay more than $46,000 in energy bills over the next 25 years — and this figure might grow further if power rates continue to rise. Converting to solar at the same time would save roughly $30,000.

The math is simple: the sooner you switch to solar, the less money you'll spend on electricity and the more money you'll save altogether. Waiting for equipment prices to fall more is rarely advantageous.

Do I need to spend money on maintenance if I go solar in California?

Fortunately, solar energy systems in California require minimal maintenance. As the region is not prone to severe weather, the likelihood of panel damage due to extreme weather events is low.

One kind of maintenance that may be necessary is taking down the panels for roof replacement and reinstalling them afterwards, which typically costs between $500 and $1,000. Several installers in your locality may provide this service if needed.

However, trustworthy solar panel installation companies will assess your roof and notify you before installing panels if repairs or replacement will be required within the next decade or so. In such cases, they usually suggest performing roof maintenance before solar installation to avoid removal expenses later on.

Because California has low rainfall, it may be necessary to rinse any dirt, pollen, or debris from the panels every six months or so, as these can accumulate and decrease efficiency. While you can pay for this service at an average cost of around $400 per year, it is more cost-effective to clean the panels with a hose on your own.

Final thoughts on the cost of going solar in California

California residents can benefit greatly from installing solar panels on their homes. With abundant sunshine and high electricity costs, it is a wise choice for most households. The state offers attractive financial incentives for solar installations, and there are numerous skilled professionals available to install the panels.

After analyzing the costs and required array size, it is clear that California is one of the most affordable states to install solar panels and battery storage. With high utility bills, homeowners can expect to recover the installation costs in less than five years in some cases, and no more than eight years in most cases, even without rebates and tax credits.

Therefore, those who invest in solar in 2023 can potentially enjoy free electricity by 2027, and over 20 years of savings on their utility bills, thanks to the standard 25-year warranty on solar panels.